Elon Musk has unveiled its radically redesigned Raptor engine which would be used to power the Super Heavy rocket and Starship on a mission to the moon and beyond. Now SpaceX test fire of a full-scale Raptor engine just recently, CEO Musk has also posted videos on Twitter of the engine being test fired at the company’s test sight in McGregor, Texas.
The Raptor engine is manufactured as a successor to the existing Merlin 1D engine. Anyhow Musk posted two videos of SpaceX test fire one without sound and one with the full sound that you might turn your speakers or headphones down before watching it. Three engines are expected to be installed on the company’s prototype Starship, it will perform short “hop” tests up to low altitudes of between 1,640 and 16,400 feet.
The company’s plan for the final starship is to have a total number of Seven raptor engines, along with 31 in the Super Heavy booster that will carry the Starship to space. Unlike the traditional rocket engines, the Raptor uses methane as fuel which according to the company gives better performance than other engines. It’s also cleaner, lower cost, and could even get from Mars in order to refuel the engines.
Each Raptor is expected to provide around 440,000 pounds of liftoff, compared to 190,000 for the current Merlin engines. On the 5th of January, Elon Musk said that they were hoping to start performing test flights of the Starship within four to eight weeks. The starship prototype which the company’s been building was damaged by the strong winds in Texas which further delayed the Raptor engine test fire.
Elon Musk also shares that the new rocket will perform an uncrewed mission to Mars in 2022 with a crewed flight to follow in 2024. The cost of these projects could cause the SpaceX to lay off 10 percent of its workforce.